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Varna Medical Forum

Tattoo Removal Methods

Ilko Bakardzhiev, Tsveta Kalinova, Lilia Vladimirova, Milena Zlateva, Margarita Stancheva, Desislava Gesheva, Denica Dimitrova, Svetlana Laskova


Introduction: The art of tattooing is an ancient way of a personal expression. It reflects religious, cultural, social and moral belonging. This phenomenon has been known to humankind for more than 5200 years and it has been profoundly implemented in human evolution.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the literature in the last 10 years in MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus and Web of Science – referred literature databases.

Materials and Methods: Abstracts and full text publications on the topic were reviewed.

Results: The principal methods of tattoo removal are: mechanical, chemical, thermal, surgical and mixed methods. Lasers are the golden standard for tattoo removal.

Conclusion: Tattoo removal can be achieved through mechanical, chemical, thermal, surgical and mixed methods. It is established that the laser technology is the most effective method in tattoo removal in regard to both the level of pigment elimination and the percentage of adverse effect manifestations. Different pigments require different modes of laser action. The effectiveness of tattoo removal is strongly individual and depends on the shape and size of the tattoo, duration, method of tattooing, the color and density of the pigment and the host immunity.


tattoo, methods of removal, selective photothermolysis, laser

Full Text


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